by Ray Keffer
DISCIPLES REDEEMED is a series of monologues about Mary
Magdalene as the first person to witness the resurrected Christ,
and the lives of the Disciples of Christ following His death,
resurrection, and ascension into Heaven. There is no time period for
this series; it's just a collection of the events in their lives
until all but one of
the disciples had
met a tragic death.
Mary Magdalene speaks from a garden where she saw the risen Christ .
The disciples are brought together in the setting of the Last Supper
so each can relate his own story to us. Saul, later known as Paul,
is used to tie together the stories of these
risked everything to spread the Good News of Jesus, and who, all but
Judas, were redeemed by Jesus.
"Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world; he who
follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of
life'." - John 8:12
Setting and Staging Suggestions
The staging of the DISCIPLES REDEEMED can be done on a stage with a
table set up similar to the last supper table with the disciples,
except for Judas, seated around the table. The story begins with
Saul giving his monologue at floor level with the audience. The
disciples sit with their eyes cast downward until Saul has exited
and has been faced with the light, stage left. (This young Saul
wears a wig and is not bearded.)
James, son of Alphaeus, begins. If you are using Judas, then each
disciple exits after his speech and a white stole is placed around
his neck. Judas appears at audience level with a rope around his
neck and speaks with the stage empty. After Judas exits, Paul
appears on stage to be greeted first by James, son of Alphaeus, then
the others prior to retaking their seats. An older Paul then moves
to stage right, in front of the table, to deliver his speech. (Paul
also is wearing a white stole like the disciples, is bearded, and
bald, if possible.) Everyone is dressed in clothing of the Biblical
time period. Judas does not appear with the others at this time.
It is suggested that you use "My Tribute" by Crouch in the
devotional prior to the presentation. "My Tribute" sets the mood
nicely for DISCIPLES REDEEMED, and the refrain is then used
effectively after Paul says, "We are redeemed!" as Paul raises his
arms in praise to God while the refrain is being sung from
backstage. Paul then takes a seat at the table with the disciples.
Should you choose not to use Judas, have the disciples wear their
white stoles and remain on stage the entire time. After John, then
have James, son of Alphaeus, rise to greet Paul as he enters. Paul
then moves to stage front right to give his speech. The scripture
recommended as part of the devotional with "My Tribute," is Matthew
The order of the disciple's testimony follows the order they are
presented in the script. Mary Magdalene begins, and Paul ends the testimony.
If desired, a communion service may be held after the
presentation with those elders who are participating serving the
MARY MAGDALENE -
(Speaks from a level below the stage or aside from the table of
disciples where she can see the disciples who are sitting with their
head looking down. She carries flowers in a basket.)
I am Mary Magdalene. Like these men, I too was once a person who was
a follower of Jesus, ever since He cleansed me of the evil spirits
which resided in me and forgave my sins. I was not commissioned like
these men, His disciples, to go unto the world and preach His
message, but I was blessed by Jesus to have a different witness. I
watched at the foot of the cross as my Savior died for all of us, so
that we might be freed from our sins. My heart ached as they took
his broken body down from the cross where He had suffered so. Thanks
to the boldness of Joseph of Arimathea, my Lord was put into the
tomb which Joseph had prepared for himself; a tomb which we thought
was to be his final resting place. Those who feared Jesus saw to it
that His tomb was guarded by Roman soldiers, lest we steal His body.
How foolish of them.
On the Sunday following His death, I had to go to His tomb to try to
overcome my grief of being separated from Him. When friends and I
got to the tomb, the large stone was rolled away from the entrance.
Upon entering the tomb, I found that Jesus was not there. My heart
ached even more. After I left the tomb, I knelt on the ground and
sobbed deeply. Suddenly a voice called unto me and said, "Woman, why
are you weeping?" I replied, "because they have taken away my Lord,
and I do not know where they have lain Him." Then, with one word, my
aching heart was mended; it leaped for joy, for the stranger said,
"Mary." It was the sweet voice of Jesus for no one else spoke my
name with such compassion and concern. The dimness from my eyes was
lifted as I saw our risen Lord standing beside me. Tears returned to
my eyes, but this time they were joyful tears. Many times He had
told us that He would arise from
the dead, but I, like these disciples, had not fully understood the
depth and meaning of His words. Now everything was clear to me. I
ran to the tell the others that our Master lives. This was to be my
witness, to be the first to tell the others He lives. HE LIVES!
Just as Jesus filled my life with new hope and a boldness so that I
could live my life for Him, the same was true of these disciples.
They were shy, uncertain, and afraid to speak out for Jesus, but the
resurrection and pentecost changed all that. The former tax
collector, fishermen, and zealot were now to become fishers of men.
They now accepted their commission to go unto the world and preach
the Gospel of Jesus, even though the threat of death was awaiting
them everytime they spoke out. Men like Saul of Tarsus, a fellow
Jew, was out to stop their witnessing for Jesus. He meant to silence
them as he had silenced Stephen. Listen carefully, each disciple
will tell you what he did to carry out the commission which Christ
(Speaks from a level below the stage
on the other side from the table of
disciples where he can see the disciples who are sitting with their
head looking down.)
"I am Saul of Tarsus. Like my fellow Jews, a true believer in the
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I have a commission from the
leaders of the one true church to eliminate a troublesome group
known as Christians, the followers of Jesus of Nazareth; the same
Jesus who was crucified for His false teachings. I intend to give
these Christians the same punishment for blasphemy Stephen got,
death by stoning. This threat to the one true religion and to the
one true God, Jehovah, cannot be ignored any longer. I'm on my way
to Damascus to begin this work to cleanse the world of this fowl
group known as Christians." EXIT --- ( Bright
lights --- voice from off stage ) "Saul ,
why are you persecuting me?"
JAMES THE YOUNGER
"I am James, son of Alphaeus, brother of Matthew. Following the
resurrection and ascension of Jesus, I gathered with my fellow
disciples in this room for we were all unsure as to what our future
was to be since Christ was no longer here to lead us. I was elected
spokesman for the group. We knew that our lives were in danger being
followers of Jesus as people like Saul of Tarsus were lurking about
to have us put to death.
"We heard of the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus, and of
his new zeal to preach the Gospel of Christ using the new name of
Paul. When Paul appeared before us in Jerusalem, I was moved by the
Holy Spirit to welcome him as a fellow Christian. I pleaded his case
before the disciples that we should commission Paul to carry the
good news of Jesus into the Gentile world."
"While the other disciples were called to preach the Gospel in other
parts of the world, I stayed in Jerusalem, to become as Paul said, a
pillar of the new church of Jesus Christ. I faced death daily by
witnessing for my Lord. One day while preaching in the temple in
Jerusalem, I was attacked by a mob. I was taken to a pinnacle of the
temple and thrown onto the rocks below, where washers of clothes
bashed in my skull, tore at my body, and broke my bones. I willingly
died for Jesus who has died so that we all might live."
"I am Peter, a simple fisherman until Jesus made me a fisher of men.
I did not fully understand what a " fisher of men" was until Jesus
had arisen from the dead and had ascended into Heaven. For after
these events, the Holy Spirit breathed on me that Pentecost Sunday
morning and filled me and others with His inner presence. Then I
began to speak out boldly for Jesus and His kingdom in a voice that
every person could understand in his native tongue. Pentecost was a
"With the zeal of the Holy Spirit, I traveled the known world with
longer stays in Greece. It was in Greece I learned, that as a
Christian, I must put aside my strict Jewish upbringing as this
upbringing caused me to abandon my Greek Christian friends when
Greek Jews came to dinner. Much to my embarrassment and shame I
learned that we are all one in Christ, Jew and Gentile alike."
"After Greece, I continued my preaching and teaching until I arrived
in Rome, the very heart of the Empire. I was able to win many souls
for Christ in Rome before being arrested. I was charged with treason
and placed in a darkened jail cell. I was not to see the light of
day for nine months. I was never alone in that darkness. The Holy
Spirit ministered unto me as I ministered to those jailed with me.
After nine months, I was taken from my cell to be crucified. I asked
to be crucified upside down as I was not worthy to die in the same
manner as my Master had died.
"I was sustained on the cross by the words of Jesus who said: 'I
will give you the keys of the Kingdom.' He did."
"I am Jude Thaddeus. I am often referred to as both Jude and
Thaddeus. I was the first missionary. My travels took me to Syria,
Persia, and Russia. My commission to spread the gospel came from the
Garden of Gethsemane."
"All of us were in that Garden when I asked Jesus why He had
revealed Himself to us only and not to the whole world. Jesus
answered, 'If a man loves me and keeps my word, my Father and I will
love him and We will come to him and abide in him.' I didn't
understand the full meaning of these words until Pentecost. I knew
then I had to carry His gospel to the world so that our triune God:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, could abide in others as they abided
in me. My preaching burst forth with the good news like a pot of hot
water boiling over a hot fire."
"I lived among the non-Christians of the world and won many souls
for Christ until my martyred death in Syria. A mob lead by idol
worshiping priests attacked me while I was ++ God did not forsake
me. I was comforted by Him on my journey into His kingdom."
"I am Thomas, a pessimist, doubter, and unhappy person until Jesus
changed my life. Following the death of Jesus, I was frightened and
grieved for Jesus. We all did. When the news came of His rising from
the dead, I refused to believe this news until I saw Him in the
flesh with my own eyes. I was criticized for my doubting."
"While in this room, Jesus suddenly appeared to us, and I fell on my
knees and cried out, 'my Lord and my God.' Understanding my doubts
Jesus placed my hand into His side. He placed my fingers into His
nail holes so that I and other doubters would believe. I no longer
"Filled with the Holy Spirit, I became a fearless carrier of the
good news of Jesus. I traveled from Babylon to India. In India, I
labored long as a builder of Christ's church. Jews and Gentiles
alike accepted Jesus as their Savior. One day while building a new
church, we were attacked by non-believers and a lance pierced my
body. I did not die alone as Jesus was with me as I walked through
the valley of the shadow of death. Glory be to God for the life He
gave me free of doubt."
"I am Andrew, brother of Peter, a 'fisher of men.' I first was a
follower of John the Baptist, until Christ called me to put down my
fishing nets and to follow Him. It was after the ascension of Jesus,
that I began my labor for Him. I picked up my cross to follow in His
"All my Christian brothers here fled Jerusalem to avoid persecution
and death, that is all of us but James. He stayed. Had we not fled
from here, the world would not have known of the sacrifices Christ
made for us and for them, the unsaved. "After Pentecost, I preached
and taught in the nations of Macedonia, and Greece. The Lord blessed
my work. Everywhere I preached, converts were made. I was stoned and
driven from some towns by my fellow Jews and idol worshipers. I
praised God for allowing me to suffer on His behalf, for He promised
that if we suffered for Him, we would share a room in His mansion in
Heaven with Him forever." "I tried to live my life as a testimony to
Jesus. Although my death was one of agony, my testimony for Jesus
continued until I had taken my last breath. I was crucified on an X
shaped cross, not the traditional cross like Jesus. I was tied to
this cross for two days before I died."
"Praise God for His blessings and for His amazing grace that saved a
wretched sinner like me."
JAMES, THE ELDER
"I am James, son of Zebedee. I was one of the three disciples along
with Peter and John, who were the closest to Jesus. We were with Him
when he raised Jairus' daughter from the dead; when the
transfiguration took place; and the night of his betrayal in the
Garden. I was there to share both His glory and His sorrow. When He
died on that cross for me, He conquered death for me by arising from
the dead. How better to serve Him than by telling others in the
world of His sacrifice and redemption?"
"I knew that winning others to Christ would not be easy, but Jesus
had said, 'Lo I am with your always, even until the end of the
world.' Armed with His promise and the power of the Holy Spirit, I
set out to speak boldly for Jesus. I preached to Jews that Jesus was
the fulfillment of the Scriptures. To the Gentiles I preached that
the good news of salvation through Jesus was open to all who would
confess Him as their Lord and Savior."
"I traveled all around the Mediterranean Sea even to Sardinia and
Spain. God gave me successes wherever I preached."
"I became the first of the disciples to die. My preaching became a
threat to a local pagan ruler. I was arrested and taken to the
executioner where I was beheaded. With one swing of the sword, my
earthly life came to an end. But Jesus was the keeper of my soul. I
am with Him and my friends."
"I am Philip. Unlike the others here, I am a Jew of Greek
background. Jesus cried out to me one day, 'Follow Me.' I did and
brought Nathaniel with me. I introduced Greeks to Jesus, many became
His devoted followers. I was there when He fed the 5000 from a small
boy's fishes and loaves of bread. I hid at the time of Calvary, but
after Jesus rose from the dead, I was willing to take any risk to
win others to Christ. Death had lost its sting with the victory of
Jesus on the cross."
"Being of Greek background, I preached and worked among the Greeks
for twenty fruitful years as I knew their language and customs very
well. As a people, Greeks relate better to fellow Greeks as
non-Greeks were once considered to be barbarians. One day while
walking, I came upon a serpent idol worship service. In the name of
the cross I commanded the worship to stop. The dying serpent gave
off a gas so powerful, that it killed many worshipers including the
king's son. In the name of Jesus, I prayed over the dead son and
life was restored to him. The king became a convert, but other
followers of the serpent attacked me. I was tied to a cross and
stoned to death. While on the cross, I praised God and prayed for my
murders to see the light. Some of the murders were won over for
Christ as a result. With my last breath, I commended my spirit into
God's hands as my Master did before He died."
"I am Nathaniel. I was with Philip when he was attacked and
crucified, but I managed to escape. I did not know why I was spared
while Philip died? I agonized over the death of my friend, Philip,
but I knew I must continue our mission to spread the saving grace
that God provided man through Jesus."
"My missionary work took me to many lands including Russia, Persia,
and India. I carried copies of the Gospel of Matthew with me. In
India copies were left with Jews so that they could learn of Jesus
through the written word. Like the others here, I too was hounded in
every town by fellow Jews and idol worshipers."
"Despite all, my ministry took hold. I could witness to people about
Jesus because I knew Him both as a personal friend and as my
personal Savior. It was while I was healing a King's daughter one
day that my death was to come about. In the name of Jesus, I healed
the daughter of her lunacy which resulted in the king and others
there coming to accept Christ. But the king's idol worshiping
brother had me arrested."
"I was given a trial, mocked, and placed on a cross where I was
clubbed to death. Dying, I prayed to God to forgive them as Jesus
forgave his murderers."
"I am Matthew , son of Alphaeus, brother of James. I was blessed as
only one other disciple was blessed. I was given the honor of
writing a Gospel which told of the life of our Lord Jesus. I wrote
of how He fulfilled the scriptures of old, and how God has offered
salvation through His Son, Jesus. What more honor would one want in
a lifetime than to write such a book?"
"I was further blessed by being able to witness to my fellow man in
many nations of the world. Worldly riches were nothing. I knew first
hand that riches stored up in Heaven were greater than any riches
stored up on Earth. For until Jesus changed my life, I was a tax
collector. Riches were everything."
"My death came by an act of a jealous king. He was jealous of my
security in Christ. He wanted my security, but he wouldn't surrender
himself to Jesus. This king tied me up, placed me on sticks of wood,
and covered my body with oil soaked papyrus. Worse than that, he
insulted God by surrounding me with twelve false gods. When he lit
my funeral fire, I commanded the fire to consume the twelve false
gods, which it did. As I prayed for the souls of my oppressors, the
king asked for forgiveness and was saved through Christ. By now my
torment was such that I asked the Lord to take my soul and free me
from this suffering. He did. I now share eternity with Jesus."
SIMON, THE ZEALOT
"I am Simon the Zealot, a zealot who wanted the world to be good and
perfect, but not knowing how to do so. I became a follower of Jesus
at an age much older than these men. I did not know peace and love
until I had surrendered all to Jesus. I, like the others, was unsure
what plans God had for me following the ascension of Jesus. I became
fully aware of these plans after Pentecost. The Holy Spirit filled
me with the desire to tell others of the love of Jesus and the gift
of life He offered them. Jesus taught us that He was the Way, the
Truth, and the Life, and that no one reached the Father except
"I had to share this message among the lost souls of the world. My
witnessing took me throughout the known world including the British
Isles. My labor of love among the lost souls was not easy; however,
God blessed my work everywhere I went. The truth of the Gospel was
able to penetrate even the most tough minded societies. The Roman
Empire had provided me the means by which I could travel throughout
the many conquered lands."
"All of us here joyously harkened to the command of Jesus to spread
His gospel unto the edges of the Earth."
"My exposure to the Romans eventually lead to my death at their
hands. I was arrested for treason and crucified on a cross. I deemed
it an honor to die as my Master had died; the Romans could not
understand my peace. I died before them not begging for mercy, but
praying for their souls. Jesus' love had conquered me so that I
could now pray for the once hated Romans."
"I am John, the last of the disciples to die. From the cross, Jesus
commanded me to take care of His mother, Mary, which I did. He had
other tasks for me to carry out for Him as well. I, like Matthew,
was blessed to write one of the Gospels.
"I did not know until after Pentecost why Jesus had named me and my
brother, Sons of Thunder. But after Pentecost, we were armed with
the power of the Holy Spirit, and we thundered the good news to both
Jew and Gentile alike. I preached that God so loved the world that
He gave His only begotten Son so that the world might not parish,
but have everlasting life through His son, Jesus."
"I ministered throughout Greece, but spent a lot of time in Ephesus.
I wrote letters to other churches, preached the Gospel and taught
others to be minister for Jesus. My working for Jesus got me exiled
to an island off Greece by a jealous Greek ruler. I was to perform
hard labor there, but God had other plans for me." "I received many
revelations from God which I put into a book for mankind to read and
to study. When the jealous ruler died, I returned to Ephesus where I
lived a long life and died a natural death. My life was blessed like
no other disciples' life, which is why I am referred to as John, the
"I am Judas. I was once one of them, but I refused to listen to what
Jesus was teaching us. I betrayed Jesus because I did not listen. I
was selfish, greedy, and spiteful. I wanted a kingdom on this
earth--- A kingdom now, on my terms, with myself in a powerful
position. I wanted people to look up to me and to hold me in awe.
How wrong I was."
"I realized too late what I had done by betraying Jesus. I gave back
the 30 pieces of silver. I tried to call the whole deal off, but the
priests would have none of it. I betrayed the one who loved me with
a kiss. I caused Him to die on the cross."
"The agony of these selfish acts drove me to take my own life with
this rope. I am among the lost which Satan now claims as his own. If
only I had listened to Jesus. If only I had died to self as He asked
me to do. Since I did not listen to Jesus, I now must spend eternity
in despair and lament. Woe unto me a sinner who has received his
PAUL: [ Last
to speak after John, (or Judas, if used.)
Welcomed by James]
"I am Paul. When I appeared before these disciples to attest to my
conversion to Christianity, James, son of Alphaeus, the spokesman
for the disciples, welcomed me. He tried to remove doubts that these
disciples still had about me by telling of my adherence to Mosaic
Laws in all my preaching and works. The others were moved by the
Holy Spirit and accepted me. I was commissioned by them to work with
the Gentiles following the commands of Jesus to minister in His name
throughout the world."
"I visited the nations around the Mediterranean Sea. For Jesus I won
many souls, planted many seeds, established churches, wrote letters,
and sent emissaries to make sure that the seeds and churches took
root and grew."
"However, all was not easy. I was beaten, jailed, stoned and ship
wrecked in my efforts to spread the Gospel. I was even threatened
with death, but being a Roman citizen, only a trial in Rome itself
could bring a sentence of death. Once in Rome, death did not come
before I preached and won souls for Christ there."
"Finally, by order of the emperor, I was beheaded. Death was quick
and painless as compared to these men. I was prepared for death. I
knew that I had run the good race; I had fought the good fight; I
had kept the faith. Gladly I had suffered the hurts, imprisonments,
despair, and loneliness for Jesus as my suffering was nothing
compared to His suffering. As we were all persecuted for Jesus and
our faith, we shall all spend eternity with Him. Jesus kept His
promise. WE ARE REDEEMED."
The DISCIPLES REDEEMED is dedicated to loved
ones and friends redeemed , to
my wife, Gail, to Mary Magdalene, and
to the men who put their lives at risk so that we all might better
know the good news of Jesus.